Family go to court over dyslexic boy's exclusion

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

An Auckland family whose son, who has dyslexia and Asperger's, was excluded from high school 10 months ago are taking their case to court.

The family, whose names have been suppressed to protect the teenager, are seeking a judicial review into the exclusion decision by the board of trustees at Green Bay High School.

They believe the disciplinary action doled out to their son - who has had to stay at home with his mother since the July exclusion - was unjustified.

"The incident in question was a tussle between himself and a teacher over a skateboard. That's not enough to be gross misconduct and it shouldn't have been something he was excluded for, particularly in light of his special needs" YouthLaw spokeswoman Joanna Maskell said.

The community law centre is representing the family in conjunction with barrister Simon Judd.

"He's at home, and mum is obviously not able to work because she's had to look after him," Mrs Maskell said.

Taking the case to court was a last resort for the family, she said.

Green Bay High School board of trustees chairman Norm Wallace said the school stood behind its decision.

"The best interests of the child were given the highest priority and we believe it was a sound decision and the right decision."

In accordance with the Education Act, Green Bay had tried to find a new school for the student. This had been unsuccessful and was then referred onto the Education Ministry, he said.

No further comment would be made until the outcome of the judicial review on Wednesday, in the High Court at Auckland, Mr Wallace said.


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